While deployed to Iraq as a Navy Hospital Corpsman, an al-Qaeda militant we detained revealed he'd somehow obtained an envelope with the family's address. In the chaos of a rocket and mortar attack, We went to his compound to confront him but found him in his final moments instead. Close enough to hear each other's breathing, we stood there, the facial expressions softened before he died. Later, We asked the interpreter if We could know more about the militant and he provided the translated letters to and from his loved ones. After a difficult transition home after the deployment resulted in family separation and other troubles, We began to read the letters in the desperate quest to put the life back in order. If a path to a better life were provided and reconciliation were assured, would We listen if this path came from the worst enemy? Jim Enderle is a native Chicagoan, retired Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman, and Iraq combat veteran. After his 2007 Iraq deployment, and finished his military career as the Chief of Submarine Base New London’s (CT) Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)/Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) outpatient clinic.
Jim has a Masters Degree in the Education of Exceptional Students and is a regularly scheduled speaker on veterans’ suicide and transition conversations. He’s recently completed a manuscript for a memoir, Fight, Flight, or Freeze: A Love Story, in which he describes his path to reconciliation after war’s trauma.
A long-time DJ at Connecticut College’s WCNI radio station, he uses his Saturday night slot for interviews on mental health issues between free-format music. Jim has recently launched a YouTube channel, The World Needs More Middle Children. Jim lives with his wife, Cindy, of 28 years in Quaker Hill, Connecticut. They have two sons, Alfonso and Lorenzo. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at ted.com/tedx